Fil Dunsky: “Most of my clients come from Behance”

The worldwide illustration and design scene influences me a lot, not just one particular city.

Introducing Fil Dunsky

Fil Dunsky is a Saint Petersburg-based illustrator who sees the entire world as his inspiration source. When we saw the work he posted for his Behance project ‘Searching for Treasures’, we knew we had to talk to him to understand how he makes things happen. Very quickly, he said yes! This is a summary of our conversation.

What were the main inspiration sources for your ‘Searching for Treasures’ project?

One of the sources was the task itself, I was inspired by this client’s project. The client had asked me to draw pirates with devices searching for treasures roaming the sea. But there were other references like Jonny Duddle, for example. Moscow was also another source of inspiration – this city has a special energy that keeps you moving really fast when doing any business. I guess it’s the energy of money – everybody goes to Moscow for earnings. So, each and every visit to this city makes me draw really fast and I’m amazed about how the city can influence you.

Since I’ve been doing the Art of Living Yoga for many years, yoga is my main source of inspiration since it gives you an enormous amount of benefits, including the ability to focus more on any subject, to stay positive and energetic throughout all the day and to let go of all the stress situations easily. It also opens up feelings of inner joy and love. It’s hard to explain with words, but it’s like constantly being in love with yourself.

How did other creatives’ feedback on Behance help encourage you as you developed your project and posted new updates?

Well, in this particular project people just started to give positive feedback and encourage me to continue with even more power. It’s always nice to share the process with professionals and asking for feedback. I love to work as part of a team and I got some freelance projects from some of the biggest advertising agencies because of that.

How has Behance helped expose your work? What are the main benefits you got from using it to publish your projects?

I give praises to the Behance team and to the whole community – Behance really changed my life! I was working as a boring graphic designer a few years ago and was trying to learn how to draw illustrations. After my first illustrations got featured on the Behance home page, I started to get commercial projects from all over the world and was able to work as a full-time freelancer! Different people continue writing to me every day for few new work queries, because the Behance team keeps featuring my new projects as well. This has been going on for 6 years now, so thanks a lot! Also I love this new feature to share your work in progress. It’s a nice way to tease your work and also to ask people’s opinion, which is very good. Of course, I use other sources to promote myself as well but most of my clients come from Behance.

How does the Saint Petersburg design scene influence your work?

It’s fun but I’m originally from Khabarovsk (it’s in the Far East part of Russia, some 6000-9000 km away from Saint Petersburg, depending on how you get there) and cool illustrators tend to move from my hometown to Saint Petersburg, so I got inspired to do that as well! The city itself makes you feel more poetic, to work a bit slower (at least comparing to my hometown and Moscow, but much faster than in India, for example).

However, the design scene itself does not influence me at all. I travel a lot. These last 4 years, I have lived for about one month in Saint Petersburg and then I moved for 2-3 weeks somewhere else, both in different cities and countries. This city is the most beautiful in city Russia and probably one of the most inspiring cities in the world, but the weather here is too rainy. It doesn’t bother me that much though as I move around very often.

I know some illustrators from this city but we are not that connected. The thing is, for me we’re all in one big online gallery through Behance, so the worldwide illustration and design scene influences me a lot, not just one particular city. I get my inspiration through my news feed every day, watching new features and appreciating my friends’ projects. It’s a constant inspiration source as it helps me take some colours, ideas, compositions and other things from this huge community.

What advice can you share with young designers and illustrators to make their ideas happen?

Well, I had a prejudice about plagiarism at the beginning. I thought that if I am inspired by some idea or some element in other pieces of work, then I would be stealing. But that’s not true. This is like science. If someone is working on something and makes some research about pirates but then ends up not using it all, then you can use that research to do your work. Not from the beginning necessarily, but maybe from where that person stopped. I find wisdom in that, and other young artists should not hesitate to use it as well.

How do you make things happen?

We heard Fil’s story and insight on making his ideas happen. What about you? What inspires your work? Is the world this one big art and design gallery? Share your thoughts by tweeting with #MakeYourselfHappen.